A Palestinian couple return to their former home to be confronted by its new Israeli owner in this unsentimental, gently political family drama
Commissioned by New York’s Public Theater, this play never reached the stage because of pressure from the board. They missed a trick because it is a powerful and disturbing piece now receiving its belated premiere. Adapted by Ismail Khalidi and Naomi Wallace from a novella by the Palestinian writer Ghassan Kanafani (1936-72), it works on several levels: as a poignant family drama, as a plea for Israeli-Palestinian understanding and as a warning of what will follow without some form of reconciliation.
The play shows a Palestinian couple returning to Haifa in 1967 in search of the house and son they were forced to abandon 20 years previously during mass evictions by Israeli forces. They constantly debate whether they are right to make the journey. When they arrive, they find their old home occupied by the widowed Miriam who fled from Poland after her father was sent to Auschwitz and who adopted the couple’s son and brought him up as a naturalised Israeli.
Link : Returning to Haifa review – disturbing drama is a plea for peace